Saturday, 10 December 2011

The Mulled Wine How To

Stop! Don't do it! I know it says mulled wine on the bottle, but it ain't. It's cheap vino with sugar and a vague cinnamonny flavour, and it'll be wholly unsatisfying and give you a killed hangover tomorrow. You're going to get a pan dirty anyway to heat it up (unless there's a magical way of microwaving the bottle), so you might as well make your own.
You know that amazing mulled wine you had at that Christmas market? The one that warmed your hands, and hypnotised you with its deep plum colour and alcoholic fumes?

Well you can recreate that at home, in about 5 minutes. You don't need a packet mix, or sachet.

Just get:

  • Something citrussy, its juice and peel (one or two of lime, lemon, orange, clementine)
  • Something spiced (two or more of ginger (a thumb size, peeled), cloves (4 or 5), cinnamon stick, vanilla pod, star anise, a bay leaf)
  • And something sweet (castor sugar, white sugar, muscovado sugar, even maple or golden syrup - about 4 tablespoons per litre).

PLUS (of course) a bottle of red (or if you prefer, apple juice).
Get a saucepan. Add the juice and zest of the citrus (wash, then peel the outside with a vegetable peeler for the zest. Then slice in half and squeeze into pan).

Add the sugar or syrup, and the spices. Stir over low heat, until syrup gently bubbles (you don't want it to boil). Add half a cup of the wine, and let this bubble away until it smells delish (5mins).
Now add the rest of the wine, and turn the heat down LOW. You don't want to boil away all the alcohol, just heat the syrup into the wine.

Give it 5 minutes, or until just steaming, and then serve.

Mmm. Christmas in a cup. Much more delicious than a posh bottle of shiraz on a cold winters night, and about £10 cheaper than buying it at the pub. *hic*
Drink up!

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